While the Israeli PR machine has been spinning events from the Free Gaza Flotilla, information about the health and whereabouts of the ship passengers and journalists who were on board the vessels is being withheld.

As Reuters noted:

Some 700 activists, many Turks but including Israelis and Palestinians as well as Americans and many Europeans — among them politicians, a Jewish Holocaust survivor and Swedish author — were held in and around Israel’s port of Ashdod, where the six ships of the blockade-running convoy had been escorted.

They were detained incommunicado, ensuring no contradiction of Israel’s version of Monday’s events.

Two Australian reporters, Kate Geraghty, photographer, and Paul McGeough who has been a guest on FDL’s Book Salon, are amongst those held incommunicado:

[Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen] Smith revealed a third Australian had been caught up in the incident and had undergone hospital treatment for a gunshot wound to the leg and was receiving consular access.

Mr Smith said … said the Australian government was continuing to press for consular assistance to the pair but had not yet received access to McGeough and Geraghty.

… It is understood Geraghty and McGeough, who is travelling on an Irish passport, are in an Israeli detention facility at Ashdod and were expected to be taken to another detention facility, about 70 kilometres away, in Beersheva.

Herald editor Peter Fray said the Israeli government had not confirmed this.

“We have had no direct communication with Paul or Kate since 11.53am Sydney time yesterday… We are obviously very eager to make contact with Paul and Kate, who entered Israel as working journalists to do a legitimate job.

“We hope that the authorities respect their right to do that job. And of course the welfare of Paul and Kate is of paramount concern to us at this stage.”

Apparently the Israeli government is afraid to let the world hear from the passengers who were attacked in international waters – and to let international reporters tell us what they really saw.



Siun is a proud Old Town resident who shares her home with two cats and a Great Pyrenees. She’s worked in media relations and on the net since before the www, led the development of a corporate responsibility news service, and knows what a mult box is thanks to Nico. When not swimming in the Lake, she leads a team working on sustainability tools.

Email: media dot firedoglake at gmail dot com